Curiosity and the Gift by Marion

Curiosity and the Gift - Marion

The first thought Blair had when he walked into the loft was that they’d been burgled. The place was a mess with boxes and cushions turned upside down on the floor.

Then he heard a noise coming from upstairs.

He reached for the heavy frying pan that sat on the stove, freezing as it made a metallic, scraping noise across the surface of the worktop. Then he heard a string of expletives coming from Jim’s bedroom.

He dropped the handle of the pan and darted across the room, narrowly avoiding being hit by a pair of plaid boxers as they flew over the rail from upstairs. “Jim? What the hell is going on?” he yelled.

Not hearing any answer and with his heart in his mouth, Blair walked up to the hallowed area of Jim’s bedroom. Even though they shared a bed and Jim had made space for Blair in his room, Blair still felt as though it was Jim’s room, and kept most of his stuff down stairs. Jim valued his space.

Jim was on the floor, his head under the bed. There were drawers turned out, clothes everywhere… Blair looked around in utter bewilderment.

“Jim, what the fuck are you doing?”

“What…” Jim hit his head on the bed frame.

Blair cringed. “Ouch!” he said in sympathy.

“When did you get in?” Jim was rubbing the bump on his head.

“Just now. I did call out.”

“Oh.”

“What you looking for?”

Jim looked around in confusion. “Um, nothing. Just something I’ve lost. Must be in the basement. Stay here!” And he grabbed a set of keys and ran down the stairs, slamming the front door as he went.

Blair stood still and turned slowly around. He wondered if he should call 911. He could see himself telling the precinct that Jim had gone crazy. Just what the hell had caused Jim to do this, and so near to Christmas?

A slow smile spread across his face as a thought came to him.

He took his keys and followed Jim down to the storage area in the basement.

In the swinging light from the one bulb, he could see that Jim had already begun to turn that upside down as well.

“It must be here somewhere. Has to be!” he was muttering to himself.

Blair reached out and took a plastic bag from behind a box on the shelf. “Is this what you’re looking for?” he asked, holding the bag up so Jim could see it.

“What! How long has that been there?” Jim sat back on his heels.

“Probably since you put it here last January in the sales?”

“And you knew it was there all the time?”

Blair shrugged, suddenly realizing that admitting the truth might not be such a good idea. “You came back all secretive from the shops. I didn’t know what to think so I put to good use some of those detective skills you’ve taught me and…”

“You peeked.”

“I’m ever curious, you know that!”

“Curiosity killed the cat, Sandburg.” Jim stood and moved towards Blair who backed up, putting the bag between them.

“And satisfaction brought it back! At least I found what you were looking for.”

Jim looked abashed. “Okay, so I forgot where I put it. I admit that. I got it for you in the sales because you were so disappointed when no one got it for you last Christmas. I was going to give it to you on your birthday, but I forgot I’d bought it and you never mentioned it….”

“Oh, so it’s my fault! You forgot about it!”

“I didn’t say it was your fault. I knew I’d got you something. I just couldn’t remember where I’d put it, but I was certain I’d remember before Christmas. And you knew where it was all along!”

“I was waiting for you to give it to me.”

“Well, give it here then.”

Blair held the bag tight against his chest. “Please tell me you are not going to wrap it up and put it under the tree.”

“Why not? That’s what you do with Christmas presents.”

“But I know what it is now.”

“Doesn’t matter.” Jim reached for the bag.

Blair put it behind his back. “But I’d have to act all surprised when I open it and you know how you hate insincerity!”

“You remember our first real Christmas together,” Jim said, his voice going low and sexy. “You remember how much you enjoyed unwrapping me?”

Blair grinned in spite of himself. “Yeah, that’s still fun. But this, this is different.”

Jim sighed. “Okay, I won’t wrap it up. How about it still goes under the tree and you don’t look at it until the big day.”

“That’s not easy, you know, Jim. This is me, and I’ve waited a whole year for this gift….”

“You waited for me longer….”

“Well, you’ll have to distract me then.”

“I’m sure I can find something to entertain you between now and Christmas.”

“If you put it like that…”

“You can put it wherever you like, Chief.”

Blair laughed huskily. “You are such a slut, Ellison.”

“Only for you, Sandburg.”

“You’d better be! I’m a lucky SOB.”

“Damn right! And that makes two of us,” Jim replied as he moved in for a kiss, snagging the bag with one hand as he pinned Blair to the door with the other.

The end

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Acknowledgments: Thanks go to Sheila, Nancy and Patt for encouraging me.